Unit History: HQ BAOR
The British Army of the Rhine(BAOR) was formally established in May 1945, following the defeat of Germany. Its first commander was Field Marshal Montgomery, the victorious leader of the British 21st Army Group, who took the surrender of German forces in NW Europe at Luneburg Heath. Initially an occupation force, until the new Federal Republic of Germany was granted full independence, BAOR with allied forces soon faced a new threat from the East. The presence of some 60 Russian divisions in East Germany could not be ignored.
At the end of the war HQ 21 Army Group, which became HQ BAOR, was located in Bad Oeynhausen, south of Minden.
In 1952 work began on the British Forces Maintenance Area West of the Rhine part of the project included the construction of a joint (Army/RAF) headquarters for BAOR in Rheindalen. Colonel H Grattan (late RE) was appointed Chief Engineer (CE) of this project, the plan was to construct:
Joint Headquaters at Rheindahlen under construction - July 1953 a main office block 300yds long by 180yds wide with three storeys providing 2,000 offices.
65 barracks blocks
over 1,100 married quarters, all heated by district heating.
infant and secondary schools
a swimming pool to Olympic standards
a NAAFI building and shops
officers’ messes with single quarters
five dining halls,
clubs for warrant officers and sergeants and for other ranks.
The complex was designed to accommodate over 7,000 British and Allied service personnel and a civilian population (mostly German) of about 2,500 for ancillary services: a township approaching a population of 10,000.
HQ BAOR moved from Bad Oeynhausen to its new HQ at Rheindahlen in October 1954.